Biomimicry UK is a leading platform within Europe that explores how to use nature within various sectors, from industry, to design, to academia. Their focus perfectly complements the SuperyachtDESIGN Week theme of Living Architecture. Their Co-Founder and Director, Richard MacCowan, will be leading a Technical Workshop on day 2 of this year’s SYDW, held from 23 – 25 June.
SuperyachtDesign: What can guests of SuperyachtDESIGN Week expect from your session?
Richard James MacCowan: They can expect to be challenged on their preconceived perceptions of what learning from nature is all about. This is more than just taking forms from nature, but looking at how we can emulate the processes, materials, functions and systems found in living things to develop more innovative solutions.
SYD: Can you explain what Biomimicry is? How can this be used in design?
RJM: Biomimicry is not the solution. Mimicking nature is about looking to nature to find these solutions. From a design perspective it is about removing our preconceptions of what we want the design to achieve and clearly identifying biological strategies. Nature is multi-functional, we aiming to achieve this allows the designers to open an entire new ’toolkit’ at their disposal.
SYD: You co-founded Biomimicry UK, what is the organisation’s vision?
RJM: Our vision is to bridge the gap between industry and academia. We want to highlight to industry the vast unlocked potential found all around us. Our ancestors did this, and we are finally realising that we need to reconnect with nature. The industrial revolution was all about classifying nature and controlling it. This is wrong, we need to work with it instead.
SYD: What project have you found the most challenging?
RJM: The current project I am working on with a charity for a new building typology in Scotland. The main challenges are convincing the people in senior positions that we need to change our mindsets. Now, we have convinced them, getting the building designed and associated works around it, is now the more straightforward part.
SYD: The theme of day two at this year’s SuperyachtDESIGN Week is Living Architecture, what does this mean to you?
RJM: To me, living architecture is about built form that adapts to changing conditions. It needs to be responsive to the climate, environment and the users of the space. It should be a continual evolution.
SuperyachtDESIGN Week is proudly sponsored by Gold level: Awlgrip and Blohm+Voss. Silver level: Clyde & Co and OceanLED. Bronze level: Heirlooms, RINA and SA Baxter Architectural Hardware.